Shiven Jain

Reclaiming Sociocultural Agency: The Resurrection of India and Africa in Postcolonial Cinema
Interdisciplinary: Film Studies, Sociology
Volume 8 | Issue I | March 2024
Indus International School Pune ’25
Maharashtra, India
I developed a passion for film criticism before I did for films themselves. Seeing film criticism as a self-contained art form, I began engaging not just with the discourse surrounding mainstream Indian cinema but also started writing about it myself by the time I was eleven. My love for history and language & literature in school only reinforced my decision to pursue the study of film and media. It also eventually led me to delve deeply into a question that I had always thought of but never really found an answer to. While I had always assumed that India and Africa were united by their postcolonial and historically subaltern identities, as someone who had seen a substantial amount of cinema from both regions, I struggled to find too many thematic similarities. This need to explore the reclamation of sociocultural agency in diverse postcolonial contexts is what sparked this research paper. I started off by reading nearly fifty sources, ranging from books longer than a thousand pages to critical theories abstracted in under 100 words, and the contextual understanding I developed along the way helped me foreground my literature review: the initial section of the paper. The subsequent development of an 11,000-word long draft, and bringing it down to a mere 5,500 words was a task both arduous and rewarding – one whose efforts seemed to have paid over the course of this transformational journey, which is now culminating in the publication of my paper in The Schola!
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